But these injuries, while not entirely preventable, can be drastically reduced with the right combination of eating right, good sleeping habits (placing a pillow between the legs if sleeping on one's side will greatly alleviate building pressure on the pelvic and knee joints) and proper exercise regimen.
In a day and age of option galore, from Pilates to Yoga to weight training to cycling (indoor and outdoor), hiking consistently ranks amongst the top weight-bearing physical activities to take up in the fight against osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Hiking has the advantage of offering both cardiovascular and musculoskeletal benefits. Carrying a backpack, however heavy, will increase the workload and cause your heart to pump faster and harder and your energy consumption to increase -you are burning more calories to sustain your exercise level. In addition to these already great benefits, your bone density will more than likely be positively affected by the sustained amount of force applied to your skeleton. Add to that a pair of hiking poles to work out your upper limbs and presto, you got yourself a fantastic ally in your fight against bone density loss. And let's not forget the fact that ambling along an Aspen-lined trail is probably much more rewarding for the overall than hamming it out in a crowded and germ-y gym!
So lace up your hiking boots and head out for the Great Outdoors. Your body (and your mind) will thank you for it!